Writing for Business

Heiges News
ENG 116 Class Schedule

Course Description:  English 116 is an intensive study of the style and techniques required in the preparation of business documents including correspondence and short reports.

Objectives:  For successful completion of the course, a student is expected to do the following:

Textbooks:    Bartel, Karen.  American Business English
                       Pearlman, D.  Guide to Rapid Revision, 6th edition

Course Requirements:  You are expected to:

Attendance:  You are expected to attend all class meetings.  Whenever possible, any class work missed because of absence must be made up.  If you are absent for as many as three class  meetings, your grade is subject to being lowered unless you have consulted in advance with the instructor.  You may withdraw from the course without grade penalty before March 25.  After this date, is you are absent for two or more class meetings and have not notified the instructor to withdraw you from the course, you will receive a grade of "F."

Grading:  Imagine that this were not a course in school but just a group of people who freely decided to work on writing.  We would have a workshop.  No official grading, just writing and feedback.  Even though I must give you an official grade at the end of the course, I will try to approximate those workshop conditions in this course by means of a portfolio of writing.

Therefore, instead of putting a grade on every paper, I will use a kind of "contract" grading system.  The following requirements guarantee you a B for your final grade:

An A grade in the course means you have met the B requirements more fully.

Documents will be judged on professional appearance and grammatical accuracy as well as on content.

To pass the course you must turn in a midterm and final portfolio.

                        Portfolio                60%
                        Class Work           20%
                        Final Project          20%

What is Portfolio Assessment?

Portfolio assessment is a method of evaluating student writing based on a collection of writings selected by the student to represent his or her best work.  In this course, you will be asked to develop a portfolio consisting of several documents written and revised during the semester.  For each writing you select you will write a preface showing how the work developed over time.  You also will be asked to write a cover letter describing and evaluating the portfolio from your point of view.

How is the Portfolio Assessed?

Your writing will not be officially graded until the end of the course.  However, I will offer as much commenting on your documents as needed, reviewing no more than two revisions of any paper.  At the end of the semester, you will prepare a portfolio according to stated guidelines for a final grade on your writing.  Your final grade for the course will be based on the portfolio evaluation plus other relevant factors such as attendance, class participation, work handed in on time, and your final project.

For your final portfolio to be considered acceptable, each document must show the following:

Each document must also be carefully edited to avoid serious or persistent errors in grammar (run-on sentences, fragments, unclear references, lack of agreement, or inconsistent verb tenses), as well as errors in mechanics and spelling.

What Does the Portfolio Contain?

The final portfolio should include:

How is the Portfolio Presented?

Your portfolio must be presented using the following standards:

Team Projects:  Team projects offer practice in collaborative writing, a frequent arrangement in the workplace, especially for reports and proposals.  Team members face many challenges, including assigning and completing tasks, making timetables, meeting deadlines, organizing data from various sources, achieving a uniform and appropriate style in a team-written document, evaluating and being evaluated by peers, learning to manage a project.  In short, you learn the meaning of working together toward a goal.

Team projects also confront students with interpersonal problems that invariably crop up during any group effort; achieving consensus, overcoming personality differences, dealing with poorly motivated or domineering colleagues, and achieving fair distribution of labor.  Therefore, you learn how to get along to get the job done.

Working on a team enables weaker writers to benefit from working with stronger writers in planning, researching, drafting, and revising a document.  Such projects enable team members to accomplish a broader range of tasks than could be done individually. Team projects depends on the motivation of the group.

If you have a disability of which I need to be aware (for classroom and/or testing accommodations), please meet with me privately to discuss it.

Last revised:  January 15, 2009